Human Rights in Time of Emergency: What Might We Learn About How to Respond to Health Emergencies in the Future by Examining the COVID-19 Context?

   

Human Rights in Time of Emergency: What Might We Learn About How to Respond to Health Emergencies in the Future by Examining the COVID-19 Context?

Abstract

Rapid globalisation has presented modern society with unprecedented challenges in the conventional approaches needed to address impending global pandemics in the context of international laws as descrivbed at Assignmenthelpsite.com. The one lesson that governments and international organisations learnt from the global health crisis caused by the SAR COV2 virus illness is that no government can be prepared to solve the global health crisis. There is a need for governments to collaborate in the fight against any future pandemics. This research investigates how governments and international organisations can best approach health pandemics in the future without violating human rights by collecting responses on citizens’ perceptions of state and federal actions taken during the COVID-19 disease. The research method applied for this proposal will be qualitative research. The sample participants are 300 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and at least 100 participants that are healthcare officials, policymakers, and other citizens from Manchester. The findings from the research proposal will help healthcare policymakers for governments and international healthcare organisations to develop effective international laws that respond to global health pandemics in the future that do not violate human rights. 

Keywords: Government, International Healthcare Organisations, Global Health Crisis, and COVID-19

  

Topic: Human Rights in Time of Emergency: What Might We Learn About How to Respond to Health Emergencies in the Future by Examining the COVID-19 Context?

Introduction 

Rapid globalisation has presented modern society with unprecedented challenges in the conventional approaches needed to address impending global pandemics in the context of international laws. According to the UN, COVID-19 has presented governments and other healthcare organisations with unprecedented challenges in protecting the public from health hazards in the future (UN Human Rights, 2020). The key takeaway from COVID-19 and efforts made by governments and international health organisations is that no government can be prepared enough to solve global health pandemics with the increasing need for governments to collaborate in the fight against any future pandemics (Batakis et al., 2020; Pils, 2020). 

As states and nations responded effectively to the ongoing global health pandemic caused by the SAR COV2 virus, human rights were significantly violated. The proposed research targets established the role of international laws in handling health emergencies in future pandemics. Governments and international organisations need to respond to future pandemics without breaking the international laws through a collaborative approach (Forman & Kohler, 2020). Therefore, the research proposal aims to determine how governments and international organisations can best approach health pandemics in the future without violating human rights by collecting responses on citizens’ perceptions of state and federal actions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Research Background and Justification 

Retrieved from  

Von Bogdandy & Villarreal (2020) discuss that governments were seen talking stringent measures as the global rejoinder to handling the COVID-19 endemic, which saw them assume exceptional powers. Bradley et al. (2020) assert that during the COVID-19 endemic, the disease has introduced the world to a series of pressing and challenging discourses and introduced opportunities on how the world should handle the global endemic in the background of the international legal order. Spadaro (2020) shows how the French president proclaimed a series of containment measures during the COVID-19 outbreak announcement that violated human rights in what the work describes as a war against the invisible enemy. 

In addition, Von Bogdandy & Villarreal (2020) show that the IHR forms the recognized legal binding instrument that lays out the framework for addressing cross border spread of the virus. International cooperation in addressing future pandemics for infectious and viral diseases is necessary if the world is prepared enough to handle future pandemics (Fidler, 2003). The main challenge in international efforts to address future pandemics is understanding the societal determinants of global human rights vulnerabilities (D’cruz & Banerjee, 2020). Based on this background, the research proposes the need for international laws on global health preparedness to handle future pandemics to inform governments how the responses do not violate the set human rights. 

Research Question and Objectives 

This research investigates how governments and international organisations can best approach health pandemics in the future without violating human rights by collecting responses on citizens’ perceptions of state and federal actions taken during the COVID-19 disease. The specific research question is what can governments and international organisations do to effectively respond to future global health pandemics without violating human rights? The research proposal will answer this research question by addressing the following two primary objectives 

To collect perceptions from the qualitative data from quarantined victims of COVID-19 whose human rights were violated as states and federal governments responded to the global health pandemic. 

To discuss the human rights dimensions to global health pandemic responses. 

To recommend ways in which governments and international organisations can effectively respond to the future global health pandemics. 

Deliverables  

The findings from the research proposal will help healthcare policymakers for governments and international healthcare organisations to develop effective international laws that respond to global health pandemics in the future that do not violate human rights. 

Literature Review in

Government Response to COVID-19: Isolation and Quarantine 

As part of the international health reaction to the COVID-19 endemic, governments implemented lockdown measures that targeted minimizing the spread of the virus (Sultan, 2020). Moodley et al. (2020) show that amid a global retort to the COVID-19 endemic, governments and the international organisation responded by isolating and quarantining patients diagnosed with the virus, which was a violation of the human rights. The COVID-19 endemic appears to have worsened the conditions for patients with the virus enjoying their human rights, which calls for an immediate intervention by international law agencies. Mitoma & Marcus (2020) appears to advocate for human rights education to prepare governments to address global health issues in future pandemics. 

In addition, Hennebry & Hari (2020) show that these human rights violations were violated when government containment measures impacted more than 164 million migrant workers. However, Evans (2020) argues that the global response in quarantining and isolating patients with positive cases of COVID-19 raises ethical and human rights question that requires a balance between scientific and social value for such reactions. Amon (2020) states that the lockdown and isolation for these patients were unnecessary as the physical distancing proclaimed was never achieved since these patients shared facilities such as toiletries. The medical staff provided the link between the patients and the outside community. Therefore this shows that the response to implement isolation and quarantine containment measures for patients with positive cases of COVID-19 was just a violation of human rights and not directed towards reducing the spread of the virus. 

Human Rights Dimensions Global Health Pandemic Responses

According to IHR laws, everyone is guaranteed the right to gain the highest attainable quality standards and healthcare services the government can provide (Bueno de Mesquita et al., 2021). Mannan et al. (2021) also show the steps governments need to take to protect their citizens from global health crises in providing medical care and services. IHR represents a new dimension that the UN perceives human rights in response to the worldwide health crisis since the WHA revised the IHR in 1995 (Fidler & Gostin, 2006). The seventy-fifth session of the WHA discusses that the preparation for the world toward global health pandemic requires the deliberation on multilateral initiatives as nations are urged to draw negotiations from article twelve of ICESCR and ICCPR (United Nations, 2022). The negotiations will allow the governments to consider the international human rights obligations in public health crisis attentiveness, rejoinders, and recovery, which is required to see citizens enjoy the right to health and demonstrate pandemic and financial considerations (Gostin et al., 2021). The UN committee, the UN secretary-general, and the WHO champion governments to consider the multilateral approaches in global responses to future pandemics, which observes the human rights dimensions through the ICESCR (Bueno De Mesquita et al., 2020). 

Recommendations for Future Response to Global Health Pandemics 

Unequivocally, COVID-19 has revealed to governments and international organisations that human rights laws, bilateral governance efforts, and global solidarity in healthcare crisis preparedness effectively respond to public health emergencies. Discussions in the WHA in May 2021 show a global consensus on the need for governments to strengthen international laws and standards to ensure future pandemic preparedness (Avafia et al., 2020). Meier et al. (2021) show that governments and multilateral healthcare organisations must act expeditiously in recognizing the inextricable association between public health response and human rights in preparing an international treaty for pandemic preparedness. It means there needs to be a harmonization between IHR laws and global health preparedness (Dbrowska-Kosiska, 2021). In addition, governments need to realize that the only way nations can address the healthcare crisis is by capacity building the public health systems (Meier et al., 2022). Furthermore, Odom (2021) argues that nations need to facilitate international corporations in global healthcare governance to enhance the manufacturing and production of medical supplies everywhere. 

Research Methodology and Analysis 

The research methods applied for this proposal will be qualitative research. Sampling will be done from patients diagnosed with COVID-19 or who had a family member diagnosed and quarantined for the disease. This will help collect responses from these victims to inform the research on their perceptions and attitudes about how the healthcare system responded to the pandemic. Sampling will involve at least 300 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and at least 100 participants who are healthcare officials, policymakers, and other citizens. This will bring the sample to at least 400 from the city of Manchester. Sampling for the participants will follow a simple stratified method (Parsons, 2014). In addition, Adams (2015) shows that data will be collected from structured interviews and a survey questionnaire for this type of research. This will help the researchers determine participants’ perceptions and attitudes towards the state and government response to COVID-19. This research proposal will use thematic content analysis techniques to analyze qualitative data to assess the perceptions and attitudes grouped into significant themes (Hashmi et al., 2017). The findings will inform the government and the international organisations about the compelling ways international laws and global healthcare policies can integrate to respond to global health crises and future pandemics. 

Research Ethics 

The most important consideration for the current research proposal will be the participation consent and publishing of the results from the research (Hughes et al., 2010). The present study will operate under the consideration that it is the researcher’s responsibility to safeguard the privacy and safety of the participants and maintain dignity and respect for all participants. The key concerns and issues to consider for the current research would be the follow-through for the participants to fill out the informed consent and respect for the multiple roles of the participants (Hughes et al., 2010). Furthermore, the research will be submitted with a minimum of 20% plagiarism in compliance with academic research ethics. This is because plagiarism in research is considered unethical for academia. 

Project Time Plan 

This project planning for the current research proposal will adopt a Gantt chart to demonstrate the time needed to complete the research within seven months. The study will adopt the following Gantt chart with the below timetable broken into six distinct working phases. Each group will be given a specific role and task to meet the research objective.

  

   

Table 1: Gantt chart for the Research Proposal

  

Time

Month   1

Month   2

Month   3

Month   4

Month   5

Month   6

Month   7

 

Working   Group/Activities 

W1

W2

W3

W4

W5

W6

W7

W8

W9   to W12

W13-16

W17-18   

W   19-20

W   21-22

W23-24

W25-26

W27-28

 

Phase   1

Planning   

Develop the research team 

 

Developing the research topic and   question 

 

Knowledge creation by reviewing previous   research 

 

Prepare the grant chart for the research   

 

Determine the sampling area 

 

Preparing the consent form for the   research 

 

Phase   2 Literature Review 

Developing the research thesis 

 

A literature search from library sources   and online database 

 

Determine the research gap that current   research targets to answer 

 

Phase   3 

Data   Collection

Sampling area reconnaissance

 

Interviews and surveys 

 

Phase   4

Methods   and Analysis 

Data preparation (Cleaning ad sorting )

 

Analysis 

 

Phase   5 Research Dissertation 

Research dissertation 

 

Phase   6 Report writing and presentation of findings 

Presenting the findings of the research   in a report 

  

References

Adams, W. C. (2015). Conducting semi-structured interviews. Handbook of practical program evaluation, 4, 492-505. 

Amon, J. J. (2020). COVID-19 and detention: respecting human rights. Health and Human Rights, 22(1), 367.  

Avafia, T., Konstantinov, B., Esom, K., Sanjuan, J. R., & Schleifer, R. (2020). A rights-based response to COVID-19: Lessons learned from HIV and TB epidemics. Health and Human Rights Journal.  

Batakis, D., Sidiropoulos, S., & Vozikis, A. (2020). What is the Role of International Law in Global Health Governance on the Period of COVID-19? HAPSc Policy Briefs Series, 1(2), 153-165.  

Bradley, C. A., & Helfer, L. R. (2020). Introduction to “The International Legal Order and the Global Pandemic.” American Journal of International Law, 114(4), 571-577.  

Bueno De Mesquita, J., & Mason Meier, B. (2020). Moving towards global solidarity for global health through multilateral governance in the COVID-19 response.

Bueno de Mesquita, J., Kapilashrami, A., & Meier, B. M. (2021). Human rights dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dbrowska-Kosiska, P. (2021). The Protection of Human Rights in PandemicsReflections on the Past, Present, and Future. German Law Journal, 22(6), 1028-1038. doi:10.1017/glj.2021.59 

D’cruz, M., & Banerjee, D. (2020). ‘An invisible human rights crisis’: The marginalization of older adults during the COVID-19 pandemicAn advocacy review. Psychiatry Research, 292, 113369.  

Evans, N. G. (2020). Covid-19: the ethics of clinical research in quarantine. BMJ, 369.  

Fidler, D. P. (2003). Emerging trends in international law concerning global infectious disease control. Emerging infectious diseases, 9(3), 285.

Fidler, D., & Gostin, L. (2006). The New International Health Regulations: An Historic Development for International Law and Public Health. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 34(1), 85-94. doi:10.1111/j.1748-720X.2006.00011.x 

Forman, L., & Kohler, J. C. (2020). Global health and human rights in the time of COVID-19: Response, restrictions, and legitimacy. Journal of Human Rights, 19(5), 547-556.  

Gostin, L. O., Halabi, S. F., & Klock, K. A. (2021). An international agreement on pandemic prevention and preparedness. JAMA, 326(13), 1257-1258. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.16104 

Hashmi, F. K., Hassali, M. A., Khalid, A., Saleem, F., Aljadhey, H., & Bashaar, M. (2017). A qualitative study exploring perceptions and attitudes of community pharmacists about extended pharmacy services in Lahore, Pakistan. BMC health services research, 17(1), 1-9.  

Hennebry, J., & Hari, K. C. (2020). Quarantined! Xenophobia and migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Geneva, August.  

Hughes, J., Hunter, D., Sheehan, M., Wilkinson, S., & Wrigley, A. (2010). European textbook on ethics in research. Publications Office of the European Union.

Mann, J. M. (1996). Human rights and AIDS: the future of the pandemic. In AIDS education (pp. 1-7). Springer, Boston, MA.  

Mannan, S., Alam, J., & Rahman, M. H. (2021). Human rights dimensions of COVID-19 responses in Bangladesh: challenges and recommendations. International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare.  

Meier, B. M., Bueno de Mesquita, J., & Williams, C. R. (2021). Global Obligations to Ensure the Right to Health: Strengthening Global Health Governance to Realise Human Rights in Global Health. Yearbook of International Disaster Law (forthcoming).  

Meier, B. M., de Mesquita, J. B., & Williams, C. R. (2022). Global Obligations to Ensure the Right to Health: Strengthening Global Health Governance to Realise Human Rights in Global Health. Yearbook of International Disaster Law Online, 3(1), 3-34.  

Mitoma, G., & Marcus, A. S. (2020). Human Rights before and after COVID-19: Getting Human Rights Education out of Quarantine. Journal of International Social Studies, 10(2), 127-140.  

Moodley, K., Obasa, A. E., & London, L. (2020). Isolation and quarantine in South Africa during COVID-19: Draconian measures or proportional response?. SAMJ: South African Medical Journal, 110(6), 1-2.  

Odom, J. G. (2021). COVID-19 and the Law: A Compilation of Legal Resources. Available at SSRN 3588225.  

Parsons, V. L. (2014). Stratified sampling. Wiley StatsRef: Statistics Reference Online, 1-11.  

Pils, E. (2020). China’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic: Fighting Two Enemies.  

Spadaro, A. (2020). COVID-19: Testing the limits of human rights. European Journal of Risk Regulation, 11(2), 317-325.  

Sultan, T. (2020). COVID-19: Quarantine and human rights. Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 5.  

Sutherland-Smith, W. (2008). Plagiarism, the Internet, and student learning: Improving academic integrity. Routledge. 

UN Human Rights. (2020). “States responses to Covid 19 threat should not halt freedoms of assembly and association” UN expert on the rights to freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association, Mr. Clment Voule.  

United Nations. (2022). Negotiations for international-instrument on pandemic preparedness must be guided by human rights: UN experts. United Nations Human Rights.  

Von Bogdandy, A., & Villarreal, P. (2020). International law on pandemic response: A first stocktaking in light of the coronavirus crisis. Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research, (2020-07).  

List of Abbreviation 

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) 

International Human Rights (IHR) 

United Nations (UN)

World Health Assembly (WHO) 

World Health Organisation (WHO)